Friday, 17 June 2011



Well... officially its the end of our timetable, and we're given in our last submission for the year.. and probably ever for the ANIMATION department at Ravensbourne.

So now all thats left is to reflect back onto whats been done, things thats gone wrong, how I wouldve done things differently and..the usually drift.

I think I've chosen to work with the best 2D animators in the class to be honest. Both of which hate to stress others. So its kept both my teams stress-free throughout the whole year. The freedom to explore and create was truly an experience and luxury I probably wont have in the future. However, as leaders Matt and Iredia are both really responsible, and even though they both hated sticking to schedules, tasks for set, and work got done. I think I've achieved and more then a enough for my artist folder to be honest. As my main folder its looking very big. Especially with all the frame painted shots.

If you imagine the pain of doing a FEW peoples work in one go. There were only two of us in Mayfly.
As the Art Director for the Mayfly It wasnt as simple as going over Iredia's shots frame by frame but I also..

  1. Outlined every frame
  2. Changed the rough characters to fit the model sheets.
  3. Cleaned up
  4. Frame Painted Base Colours
  5. Frame Painted Shadows
  6. Frame Painted Lighting
  7. Designed and Painted Backgrounds (which is also a few layers there...)
  8. Applying Filters
As a background artist for smitten working fast in order to get feedback from Matt to get the best possible result, and to improve upon my technical ability in digital painting and perspectives, was how I adapted to work in from first term. So considering I started working on the Mayfly from the beginning of 2011, this was already a big jump in my skill charts. My ability to paint faster was and BETTER in terms of lighting and colour probably came from the friendly rivalry between me and Michelle. Who I'm VERY thankful to for helping me improve so much in a year.

For Smitten, Matt, Michelle and Emma were lovely people to work with, not only giving their HONEST opinions but also giving advise. With the constant support through the year its built my confidence in finishing backgrounds in general, and its given me a clearer idea of hw fast I am able to improve with a "rival" on the side. Something I've been missing since secondary school.^^ My problem with backgrounds from the start was spending rushing through them and thinking less about them since I've always focused more on character. I joined Smitten to broaden my skills and view of backgrounds. As a result. I now spend around 6 hours on a background and maybe some extra hours on top instead of spending 1-2 hours per background. Matt and Michelle have encouraged me to think in more depth in terms of the backgrounds. Bringing the "mise en scene" if you would call it that to life! The work I've produced for smitten in definetly different from my usual comic like style.

For Mayfly, It slowly become my focus from 2dn term onwards. There was only two of us, and I'm very thankful Iredia had decided to contact me. If it wasnt for this project, I dont think my stronger elements of painting couldve been reached through smitten. Getting the chance to explore two worlds a the same time whilst being so differently in terms of style was like a relief of stress, I never got bored since the concepts were so different. Iredia has been one of the best people I've worked with by far. Not only is he a responsible partner to work with, but likes to take any new ideas on board. Which I guess was the main difference in Smitten and Mayfly. Mayfly had the freedom to change, whereas Smitten had to keep to the flow of the chosen music piece. Having saying that, Smittens storyboards were already drawn and planned out so well, I guess there was no room for improvements really?
We contacted each other almost everyday, mostly skype meetings in order to get the most out of the time left. Since westarted a term later then everyone else, plus we had to learn a new program it was the only way of getting any work done. Truthfully, before this year, I had never really gotten the chance to speak to Iredia properly, so it was nice meeting and working with someone new this year. Hes very inspiration, all the people I've worked with this year really.

Our Mayfly/Dayfly film really does stand out from the crowd since it looks so traditionally made, if it doesnt wow people then.. well.. what can I say, Ravensbourne has become so DESIGN based theres just no space for real art is there now. We deliberately made everything washed our and messing to avoid Ravensbournes clean design style thats just running through every inch of the building right now=P

Even after slaving through TVPAINT being a new software I've only started learning from 2nd term of 3rd year. I think i'll probably continue using it. Its bit-mapped feature of working seems to work better in terms of my own style. And even so vectorization looks nice and clean, I still prefer the out traditional messy style, It seems like more can be achieved through experimenting in bit-mapped programs. Artworks create in photoshop can also be create in TVPAINT. The bonus factor would be for it to move. Which makes this program so amazing.

The films are both not finished. However, since SMITTEN is such a complicated film in terms of animation, and Matt being the only animator really give him lots of pressure. Pressure in which we dont plan to give him since his works so amazing and HE IS the director after all. We hope it gets finished, ready for future festivals and such. And of course, I will continue working with SMITTEN until its done.

For Mayfly, we've only got around 4-5 shots to finish really, to get that done by degree show would be another challenge. After looking back to our old work. The both of us have now realised how much we've matured within our fields, and it seems 4-5shots wont be as stressful as it seemed before since we're now our accuracy and SPEED bars have gone up so much. If we don't manage to get it all polished off by the hand in for degree show theres also the hand in for skillset show we plan to aim for. which would be on the 11th July giving us plenty of time really.

Our Year Group
Through this course I have definitely met some inspiring and most talented young people in my life. I want to take this time to thank them all for the motivation to push myself harder through the years. I've learnt many new things not only in animation, but in true craftsmanship. We've been through our ups and downs, but overall, we've all become pretty close. Despite the small majority of people whose tried causing a few clashes within our last term, most of us have produced some very extraordinary pieces of work. Its also very funny how theres actually so many people with hidden skills that really suprises me, and it makes me wonder, why does the nature of our course make us all hide these skills from one another? I mean there are so many students who are fine art based to start with, and yet they've had to close off that side, in order to adapt to 3D skills in general. I just feel its a shame I never got to see this side within these 3 years until now! There could of been some really interesting scripts made.

After graduating I plan to continue working on my project, so i'll probably continue blogging for the sake of watching my progress. After finishing MAYFLY I'll be working on a project that i've started from our E&E project; AngryPoop. We're animating and producing merchandise based on a character i've designed. I have a few people onboard already. I've spoken to a few tutors including Lorna for some support and it seems everyones pleased and given positive feedback from the standard of work we've produced in that short term. Our next step is to harass the EnE department really, apparently Libby Anson is the person to go to in order to get some space on the first floor next year. There may be a charge, however, if all the facilities are still available WHY NOT =) I wished EnE was placed somewhere else in our year and hope others find it as useful as I did.

But yeah, Thanks for reading^^
I want to take this time to thank my tutors too, Mike, Dan, Jared, thanks for all the support and encouragement through these 3 years!

STAY TUNEDD, since i'll probably post more since we've still got until our degree show hand in AND skillset =D

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Mayfly Opening shot rendering Problems

As I've mentioned in past posts, the grass layers are transparent since it was frame painted using water colours. WITH a solid brush, it doesnt have the same feel and destroys the whole concept of our film to start with.

We've had many ideas and attempts to fix this through editing or rendering settings.

Dan then suggested using the LUMA key in AFTEREFFECTS to key out whiteness of the layers when rendered separately. Truth is this worked. However, Iredia and I have both decided, since it makes the grass look so plain and flat, we rather stick to have transparent grass, that way not only does it not destroy how shot, but it'll also have this weird feature within the shot where you get see through grass. This could technically come off as an artistic style since when you watch real grass move in the wind. You obviously see each individual strand move, and also whatevers behind the grass because of this.Where as in the animated version we've made. The grass would then illustrate a patch of grass. So for it to seem see through would just come natural to a person. =D

Logically thinking this over that is...

But if you dont see that, Then I suppose its a technical problem we havent been able to solve =)
By accepting it as a style, - I guess there was no problem to start with? =DD

soooOO.. an update on todays progress

I've had a few meetings with Iredia today
a)Progress Check
b)To discuss and decide on the next shots final LOOK through screen sharing.

I've completed the shot I worked on last night as planned. Had a good shower, and a full english breakfast to get my head moving. And also kept myself hydrated! =DD Theres alot of people downing energy drinks, but I just cant do it, I need a steady head and hand to frame paint or the works just not going to go anywhere.

Since the these evolution shots were technically planned out across a course of 2 days, It does show in the overall look. Well, that in my opinion anyways, maybe because we were both tired.

I'd admit, time really IS eating us all alive, I mean we're all mentally drained. I personally have a really bad shoulder.. and feel as though my necks going to fall off still but none of this can be helped. Iredia' still shaking from the energy drink

SooooOO back to work stuff

I've finished the outlines for the next shot, fixed the layers up as appropriately as we've discussed. I drew the outlines and layers on different layers incase any changes were to be made. In the Mayflys case, I've also separated the wings from the body onto different layers so that we can BLUR the wings at certain frames and also tone down the opacity the make the Mayfly's FLIGHT seem more believable.

Other then that. theres not much to say... My 3 folders are still in the middle of being sorted.. Thats mainly because Im in the middle of rendering the footage for technical together.. ADOBE PREMIERE, WHY ARE YOU SO SLOW. =_=" Even on a PC with 8GB RAM its being a pain.. so.. its now a matter of the thing sorting itself out really. If all fails I shall use the editing features in camtasia on mac or debut on PC =D

But first, DINNER.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Okkk so lets see hows the progress been.. the ones in bold have been fulling completed.
The ones in Green are one the waiting list to be frame painted before degree show.

Opening Shot
Shot 2 - Turns head around like =DD
Shot 3 - Reflection in the water
Shot 4 - Touching Face
Shot 5 - In Love with himself
Shot 6 - Touch Water
Shot 7 - Dive Shot
Shot 8 - Underwater
Shot 9 - Underwater
Shot 10 - Crying
Shot 12 - Comes out of Shell like WHOOSH
Shot 13 - WHOOSH MayFly - Look at ME, Im so smexy! =D
Shot 14 - Mayfly fly in loops

Ok.. so we've got THIS far. At the moment IM in the middle of Frame painting shot 12.
Iredias working on Shot 13.
Even though deadlines on Friday, We're not actually panicing over that. We're panicing more because of the sound guy pressuring us to get it all done by Friday edited. which gives him 5 days to work on this BEFORE the degree show. Things are getting tight, and i'm still fixing up my folders so...the extra pressure... =__= ...

But yea, I had a meeting with Iredia around 6 today? My plan after was...

  • Have dinner (7;00)
  • Finish Mayfly background - send to him as soon as possible
  • Shot 12 OUTLINE Before Bed

  • Thursday:
  • Colour Shot 12
  • Lunch
  • Outline for Shot 13 (evolution part 2)
  • Editing for folders
  • COLOUR Shot 13

  • Friday:
  • Get into Uni by 11.


Here Is an example of a quick colour script Iredia made for my own guidance, I have a habit of going with the flow, so I'm not exactly very good with following colour scripts. As an artist there are more tones then anything, and to make a piece truly ours, we tend to play with colour to get the right FEEL to our pieces. So yeah, theres my excuse. We discussed a nice colour contrast using purples in the scene as I've evaluating in the past posts.

Heres a lighter version I quickly did whilst in the middle of a skype meeting with Iredia. We were discussing how to make the Mayfly gold and all spiritual as well as trying to make it glow. Heres an example of using the filters within TVPAINT, Increasing the brightness and contrast of the outline layer.And heres an example of the GLOW effect/ filter thrown on top of the COLOUR layer as well as the FX stack of brightness + colour contract on the outline. I added a pinkish glow too, im not sure if you can see the difference, but we're still in the middle of playing with these settings.

Heres the finished ROCKs for the background =D
Still working on this for degree show, but since we have more important scenes to work on for friday (for the sound guy mainly) I'm afraid I've had to put this shot on hold. There IS supposed to be a hint of purple-ish shading on the nymphs body. which makes him more 3D and gives him a more noble..gently like feel to his movements.

Crying Nymph FINISHED! =D

I'm personally very proud with the outcome of this shot, not only does the lighting make it look amazing, it brings out the environment, bring the environment to life! Theres a slight reflection in his eyes, like a nice shine of the water moving, and the shadows moving with him as he crys!

This shot really shows the improves in both mine and Iredia's skills in TVPAINT, I just wished we learnt of it sooner. Now that its coming to crunch time, the stress is really building, however without the hassle of rending for long hours its become a luxury to work on this project. EVEN WITH the constant shoulder pains and snappy wrists.. not to mention my neck feeling like its going to fall off from looking down at my screen for long hours..

We've had constant skype meetings to get the feel of this shot perfect! And it really shows! I worked out, by using 3 different brushes for the reflections, ripples and water splashes it makes the shot more interesting. And less cluttered as it did before in my test.

Also, we decided to keep the tears original, meaning there tears you see now are infact Iredias roughs thats been filtered.. a test I did whilst on skype with him. By filling the tears in it looked asif milk was pouring out. Looked a bit disturbing so we decided not to bother.

Anywayz, I need to go back to working on the new Mayfly shot I've been given.
Considering we started working together on this project from the start of the year- 2011 our 2nd term to of school year, we've really caught up to the other teams! =DD

Monday, 13 June 2011


Ok, to explain this shot in more detail.
This shot is afterte bright blue underwater shots. The nymph pops his head out out of the water, realising the "friend" he was looking for was never therein the first place, and that the "friend" he was looking for was really his reflection. Me and Iredia has discussed the colour changes within the film. It was my idea to have a sunset theme since it reflects his sad, loneliness. However, I wasnt sure if there was part of the sky in this short or not, which is why u see the slightly darker patch around him to illustrate a water surface. After having an in depth skype meeting with Iredia. We screen-shared and worked our a lighter background to correspond with the washed out look we're continued to use throughout the film =D

This shot is now finish, Im very proud with it since it seems so professionally made. As if I actually got a set of water colours out to frame paint this!! It has that very traditional look we're all missing. So Im extra proud with this shot. Since its a close up shot, more detail was put into the lighting and the nymphs actual features. I deliberately gave him light shimmering eyes and a slight moving shadow to represent the flow of water and the reflection of ripples slightly reflecting on his face. =D